China set to release ‘And Then Nothing Happened’

China, who I can only assume is everyone's favorite Bay Area folk-rock band, is back with their vinyl debut on Royal Oakie Records, And Then Nothing Happened. Lead singer Michael James Tapscott sings sad songs with the best of 'em, and his talented bandmates, (who are all stellar musicians in their own right), always seem to find just the right harmony, rhythm, or whine from a pedal steel. Like previous China records, this album isn't background music for a lonely drive or something, it's a collection of songs suitable for staring at a wall, listening intently, and thinking long and [...]

By |February 15, 2019|Tags: |

What’s Happening This Week? A Guide To Shows Around The Bay, Jan 23 ― Jan 26

See Devendra Banhart at The Fillmore this Thursday night. Monday, January 23 No Age @ Starline Social Club Distortion heavy No Age, similar in style to Japandroids and signed to Sub Pop Records, will be playing an all ages show this Monday night. Down Dirty Shake @ El Rio Down Dirty Shake is a San Francisco psychedelic / soul rock and roll band "here to magnetize your hips and excursive your lips." Tuesday, January 24 Drink Steam with Bells Atlas @ Rickshaw Stop A FREE 21+ show of local artists for the 21+ crowd. Be sure to make it in time [...]

Best of 2016: Russell Jelinek’s favorite local lyrical moments

I've never been one to sit down and follow along to the lyrics when I listen to an album, but there were a few lyrical moments from local artists that really punched me in the gut this year. Here are some of my favorites. "I got big money, all facts, petty bitches can fall back" - Kamaiyah on E-40's "Petty": The words aren't exactly thought-provoking, but Kamaiyah's delivery of this line made me stop what I was doing, spin around, grin ear-to-ear, and immediately start the song over just to get to this line again. The choppy cadence leading [...]

The Bay Abridged: July 6 – 19

(illustration: Cassidy Miller) In this recurring feature known as The Bay Abridged, our staff writers provide short, witty recaps on shows they attended around the Bay Area. A scene check, a heat check, and sometimes more — stop by every other Wednesday for the most comprehensive and concise recap of the Bay Area concert scene. Alvvays at Phono del Sol (SF) July 9. Is it a bit self-serving to gush about a performance your organization created? You bet. But damn, Alvvays just blew me away that Saturday afternoon. I had enjoyed their recordings, but had no idea that shimmery pop [...]

By |July 20, 2016|Tags: , , |

Video Premiere: Walk through Bernal Heights with China

One of my personal favorite country/Americana/folk/whatever bands (both locally and beyond) is China. Their songwriting is brutally honest, and they're likely one of the most talented bands you'll ever see while sitting criss-cross applesuace in a recording studio. After a pair of digital EP's and the addition of Jacob Aranda and his pedal steel wizardry, China just announced their debut full-length: Pool of Tears, which is available on cassette July 22 from Royal Oakie Records. (Preorder here). To gear up for the release, China went up to Bernal Heights to record a video for "Everyone Thinks I'm a Loser." Royal [...]

By |July 13, 2016|Tags: |

Mixtape: San Francisco Twang — Sampling Local Americana, Country, and Bluegrass Bands

The Brothers Comatose (photo: Zack Sumner) Download: Mixtape: San Francisco Twang -- Sampling Americana, Country and Bluegrass Bands (Podcast #384) The San Francisco Bay Area's love for Americana, country and bluegrass music manifests most visibly during the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival, which draws 750,000+ people to Golden Gate Park annually, but there are great twangy sounds coming out of the Bay all year round. Venues like The Plough & Stars, The Lucky Horseshoe, Amnesia, and Armando's in Martinez, as well as Twang Sundays at Thee Parkside, are a fertile incubator for local roots acts. Plenty of them, like The [...]

Photos and thank you: China and Cougar on a Meth Binge at 25th Street Recording

Michael Tapscott of CHINA plays at 25th Street Recording in Oakland, CA (photo: Jon Bauer) It's not often that you get a chance to check-out some top notch bands at a world-class recording studio, but this weekend we did just that! We'd like to thank the great bands involved — China and Cougar on a Meth Binge — as well as DoTheBay, 25th Street Recording, and Doc's Classic Food Truck for being involved in this event. Of course, the event would not have been such a success without the help and support of everyone who attended! Thanks to each person who [...]

The Bay Bridged Presents: Cougar on a Meth Binge and China at 25th Street Recording

The Bay Bridged knows how to bring the party (I mean, have you ever been to Phono del Sol?). And next month, we are bringing the party to Oakland. On April 2, we're presenting two of our favorites: China and Cougar on a Meth Binge and 25th Street Recording, just off of Telegraph. Come by for some good local tunes and some good local grub provided by Doc's of the Bay, with both drinks and tunes provided by our very own TBB staff. Everything starts at 6pm and wraps up at 9. Best part of all? It's free if you [...]

Odawas release Black Harmony

Photos: Kayla Krut, edited by Isaac Edwards Last year, Oakland duo Odawas ended their lengthy hiatus released one of my favorite albums of the year, Reflections of a Pink Laser on Bookmaker Records. As Odawas hinted in our interview with them last summer, they're already back with a second album on the Paris-based label with the release of Black Harmony. Black Harmony is more "conventional" than Reflections, (there's no 20 minute instrumental track, for example), but there's plenty of expansive studio wizardry and weirdness if you're into that sort of thing. (Which you should be). It's clear Michael James Tapscott's [...]

By |June 2, 2015|Tags: , |

China releases Towards the Sun

China, the excellent project of Jeff Moller, Michael James Tapscott, and Raphi Gottesman, just released their second EP, Towards the Sun. The trio performs together in Odawas, but this project is much more roots-based than the spacey Odawas vibes. Although everyone takes their turn on lead vocals, but there's plenty of delightful harmony where everyone gets a chance to sing, (although the boys in China aren't sure why they're there if you believe what they say on "May 21".) Alleged confusion aside, China does a damn fine job making this kind of music: Towards The Sun by China China has [...]

By |April 28, 2015|Tags: |
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